Friday, 17 July 2009
Following a month long period of workshops with children and the public in general, erect architecture prepared a concept design for the adventure playground. The outline proposals were consulted with the public during the Kilburn Festival last Sunday. Throughout the day we spoke to more than 60 adults. Everybody was in support of the scheme. A few voices emerged in support of the sustainable aspects of the scheme: Habitat creation and the use of sustainable materials. The public also took a keen interest in the different boundary treatments, which range from planting and a haha to a climbing frame usable from inside the playground as well as the park. It was important that we avoid imposing fences.
Throughout the afternoon Parkour Generations run very popular free-running workshops in the park with participants ranging from 5 to 40 years of age.
The Building Exploratory run creative workshops making sunprints and shadow sculptures.
Even local MP Glenda Jackson popped in - attracted by the geodesic dome structures outside our marquee, which were built by the children during the structural workshop two weeks ago. She was very supportive of our efforts to encourage children to take more controlled risks during play (and the free-running workshops run by Parkour Generations) as well as the explorative aspect of the workshops and the models and structures produced by the children during the natural and structural workshops.
If you have not seen the scheme but would like to get involved and voice your opinion please get in touch (email email@example.com or t.020 7033 2779) and we will post you the current plans.
Tuesday, 14 July 2009
It's a shame it flies by so quickly...Each year, during three intensive days in the woods, architecture students explore space through formulating a site specific response and very importantly the process of making of their proposition.
After having observed the amount of wasteage during the wood cutting process in the previous year, we set the group the task to work with waste only. We soon settled for a site in the grid of a 25yr old managed forest - drawn by the lack of romanticism and human scale. The trees are originally planted at a 2m grid. During its life all low level branches are continuously removed to encourage straight growth and obtain better timber after felling. This results in a high canopy sheltering a very bare ground. After a morning investigating the grid and its strong sight lines we settled on a design. During the mapping process we realised that the forest appeared much more gridded than it actually was. We decided to draw emphasis to the incompleteness of the perceived grid (the trees which had been felled during the forest management process). A canopy was set out along the existing sight lines. It drew support from the trees, but sagged where trees were missing, disturbing its regularity and giving it its organic shape. Branches of already felled trees were used to weave the structure entirely without any mechanical fixings. The woven canopy was finally raised towards the natural canopy far up - and set disturbingly just below headheight of the visitor.
When light fell through the canopies late in the afternoon a play of light and shadow dissolved the weave and the space beneath.
Studio in the Woods is organised by MitchellTaylorWorkshop. The groups were tutored by Piers Taylor & Mole Architects, Gianni Botsford Architects & Kate Darby Architects, Toby Lewis, and erect architecture.